Category Archive: Marketing, Networking & Social Media

Business Branding: How to Make Your Company Really Stand Out

~by Kara Masterson~

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In 2017, the market is positioned in such a way that anyone can easily get the steps on how to build a business. With more and more people creating avenues of entrepreneurship, the competition continues to rise. The competitive nature of business can be enough for many people to decide to fail. However, if you’re strategic in your business branding approach, you can stand out from the crowd and be successful.

business branding

Use these tips to help you climb the ladder of vocational success.

Specific Niche

Because business owners really want to make as much money as possible, many make the mistake of throwing their net with hopes of catching everyone. However, with business, you’ve got to define your target audience and dominate this market with your content. Focus specifically on an extremely targeted niche. There are many smaller niches within one topic and you have a better chance of gaining a devoted following with this route. For example, there are thousands of beauty bloggers on the internet. Instead of focusing on all things regarding beauty, a smart beauty blogger might want to focus in on one niche such as lipstick. There are a million avenues to go with using this one topic and it’s easier to dominate this one topic.

Value Offered

Before anyone is going to pull out their wallet and hand you their hard-earned money, they want to know that you deserve it. In most cases, you’ll have to share the value you offer before they’re convinced. A credit repair firm might want to share the number of years behind their educational background and experience. When it comes to firms like this it is a good idea for them to include things such as reviews and the benefits of their services overall. If people feel as though they’re receiving a ton of value, they’ll be more likely to go with a route that seems like a one-stop shop for their needs.

Customer Service Policies

Customer service is key. The customer needs to always come first. If people feel as though their business isn’t appreciated or valued, they’re less likely to come back. Be intentional about treating your customers well, whether it’s a phone conversation or in-person interaction. Kindness, courteousness and empathy will take any business further than an amazing product will. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an amazing product offering. Just make sure the customer service component is just as strong so your company will stand out.

Standout Offerings

business brandingDon’t be afraid to offer a really awesome bonus to those who choose to patronize your business. Your standout offerings might come in different forms. If you own a clothing store, you could offer a certain discount for every person you bring into the shop. A car dealership experience could also include champagne and chocolates after the purchase of a car. There should be a nice incentive that’s associated with your company that excites and motivates people to get in line.

Expert Positioning

When you focus on dominating one smaller niche, you have an opportunity to position yourself as an expert on that one subject. Create content that displays your knowledge on the subject matter. On your website, include a blog that’s regularly updated. Consider writing an e-Book to give away for free. Get in front of the camera and begin using YouTube and video marketing to share your expertise with those who need it.

These five components will truly help your company get into the limelight and stand out among the competition. When you narrow your focus and keep it steady, you’ll be able to understand the needs of those in your field and be the answer they’re looking for. When you solve a problem, you become the expert and go-to person moving forward. As a growing business looking to be profitable, you’ll be in the best position to do so.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.


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It’s Time to Jump off the Proverbial Cliff of Your Comfort Zone

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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Too many times in business we want results but are reluctant to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone.  

We want income, but we are scared to talk to people and make sales.  

Sometimes we start to achieve more growth when we make ourselves the most uncomfortable. And that is when we start to see that massive growth.  

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Sometimes you have to be a lot like a lobster and grow through adversity. That means learning that it’s okay to make sales and to pitch to people in your business. Because it’s okay to ask for sales in your business. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s a GOOD kind of uncomfortable.  

I’ve experienced exactly this kind of growth in my personal life and in my own business in the last few years.  

When I first started my home care agency, I wanted to focus on internet advertising and operations, and to hire someone else to do the PR piece of the agency.  

What I learned instead is that people wanted to get to know ME as the owner of the agency.  They wanted to do business with ME. And they wanted to talk to ME. Problem was, I wanted to be in the office.  

You can guess how well that worked.  

comfort zoneIt didn’t.

So I learned that I had to go out and meet people. Face to Face. No matter how uncomfortable that was to my introverted self.  

It turned out that was a good thing. I learned my lesson, and learned so much about selling. And yes, I’ve even gotten somewhat more comfortable with making cold calls to organizations. It doesn’t mean that I’m totally thrilled with doing it, but I am confident enough in my skills to go out and meet people and ask them to do business with me.

And I am an introvert.

I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and started going to networking meetings. I started meeting people and making cold calls. I sold my health care business, and now I’m focusing solely on Leadership Girl. And I’m seeing how pushing myself way out of my comfort zone has totally helped me.  

That painful lesson might have been scary at the time, but I learned a lot about sales… and that sales is the life blood of business. You have to sell in order to succeed.  

That growth has been empowering and uplifting. And now I have a much bigger shell.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


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Ready to Succeed? 4 Steps to Starting Your Own Small Business

~by Hannah Whittenly~

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If you don’t like your current job, don’t think you can advance in your field, or are just looking for more control over your professional life, it may be worthwhile to start your own business. However, before you start a company, it is critical that you think your plan through.

small business

What are some items to consider before you enter the marketplace?

1. Do You Have a Business Plan?

The first thing you need to do is create a business plan that addresses what your company does, how it does it and how it can be profitable. While it doesn’t have to be an in-depth document, it should address how the company will make money. For instance, it should detail whether the company will use generated revenue through memberships, subscriptions or sales made by affiliates.

It should also account for competition that already exists or competitors that may enter the market in the future. Furthermore, it should cover what the company will do if a new company or technology disrupts the current dynamic of the market. For instance, what will the business do if demand drops or a competitor engages in a price war to win your market share?

2. Make Sure That You Have Licenses and Credentials

Before you start your company, you may need to get licenses from your town, county or state. You may also need to register with the federal government to get an employer identification and tax number. In addition to getting the proper licenses for your business, it may be necessary to acquire or update professional licenses to increase credibility with customers.

If you plan on using third-party vendors to provide food, do contract work or provide other services, you should make sure that they are properly credentialed. This can easily be done through a vendor credentialing service. The last thing you want is to be liable for work someone else did because they didn’t have insurance or because of a paperwork error.

3. How Will You Market Your Business?

small businessStarting a business is only half the battle when it comes to getting sales. If no one knows that your company exists, you won’t make the money needed to stay in operation. This means that you will need to market either through radio or television advertisements, online ads or by putting posters on telephone poles in your local area.

When creating a marketing plan, you should strive to advertise in places where your target market spends time. If you are targeting younger people, that may mean advertising on social media or putting physical advertisements in schools or in youth centers. If you are targeting older people, you may want to advertise during afternoon television programming or near the assisted living facility.

4. What Is Your Customer Service Plan?

At some point, you will run into a customer who isn’t satisfied or who may need help making a purchasing decision. At first, you might personally handle complaints, concerns or requests. However, as your company grows, you may need to move into a call center or use social media to respond promptly to the needs of your customers.

Neglecting to meet the needs of your patrons is one of the easiest ways for a business to fail. No matter how good your products or services are, no one wants to spend money to be lied to, misled or otherwise treated as if they don’t matter.

Starting a company can be a great way to advance your ideas or gain more control over your professional life. While everyone dreams of being rich and successful, it is important that you cover the basics, like having a business plan and ensuring that your company can legally operate first.


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Hannah WhittenlyMeet the Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.


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The Benefits of Having a Company Vehicle

~by Kara Masterson~

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Companies provide vehicles to their employees for a variety of reasons, none of which devalue the employee or their roles inside the business. The vehicles can consist of service vans, trucks or cars, depending on the nature of the business. When companies supply vehicles to their workers it is known as a fleet. The automotive fleet is owned by the business and operated for business purposes.

Many car dealerships have inventories of pre-owned automobiles that make excellent fleet vehicles. Buying or leasing a certain amount of vehicles for business purposes also offers huge savings to the company using the fleet cars.

company vehicle

The following is a list of the benefits of having a company vehicle. These benefits are realized either by the company, employee or both.

Allows for a Mobile Workforce

The degree of mobility for employees is beneficial for the customer. Services are rendered and equipment carried directly to the work site. In this way, employees are better able to conduct business. The opportunity to increase service areas and clientele is made possible with work vehicles.

Control of Company Image and Branding

A cohesive fleet of vehicles means that a company is better able to manage its image and branding. The look of employees working in the same make and model of automobile connotes a professional demeanor. Not to mention, employees are more likely to be receptive to having company logos on a work vehicle rather than their personal one.

Added Flexibility

Employees with children will have more options for transportation in their personal lives with an added car. Additionally, having a work vehicle ensures that all employees can make it to the office, especially if the work location proves to be difficult to reach.

company vehicleProvides the Ability to Use Specialized Vehicles

Here, specificity begets necessity. The more specialized the vehicle that the company needs – think delivery truck or service van – the more the case can be made for fleet vehicles. Employees might not choose a specialized option unless their work provides it for them.

Should You Incorporate Fleet Vehicles Into Your Workforce?

The answer to this question may lie in the size and purpose of your business. Larger corporations may be more likely to have the capital on hand to supply a fleet of vehicles for their employees. However, leasing vehicles is a viable option for smaller businesses. Another important consideration is the tax issues associated with having work vehicles.

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Explore the link in this article to learn more about work vehicles and the benefits they provide. If you are a business owner, then share your experiences with fleet vehicles. Did you go through a car dealership? Did you take advantage of an incentive program? Readers would like to know.


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Kara MastersonMeet the Author: Kara Masterson

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family.


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Trade Show Tips: How Pros Get Their Business Name Out There

~by Rachelle Wilber~

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At large industry trade shows, your business may be competing for the attention of guests. There could be hundreds of other businesses there competing against you, which means you need to get your name out there to get noticed.

trade show

These four tips will help you promote your business at the next industry trade show.

Giveaways

Giveaways are one of the easiest ways to get your business’ name out there at a big trade show. One fun way to do giveaways is to have a big prize wheel for guests to spin. You could also try a beanbag or ring tossing game. Some great giveaways include candy bars with your business name on the wrapper, Frisbees, purse-sized packs of tissues, and note pads.

Quality Bags

To hold those fun promotional giveaways, the guests at a trade show will need a bag. You could have great bags printed up with your business’ name, contact information and logo on them. This makes every guest at the event a walking advertisement for your business. Plastic bags with built-in handles are a convenient option. You might also consider a high-quality canvas tote bag to give away to the people who listen to your presentation or who engage with you.

Utility Trailers

trade showUtility trailers can be functional for your business, allowing you to haul all of your trade show equipment and supplies to the location. Some companies that sell trailers and accessories know that you can easily attach a promotional banner or sign for your business on the sides of the trailer. You could also have your business’ name, logo and contact information painted onto the trailer’s bed so that people could see it when it is empty.

T-shirts

While the staff of your business will likely wear either suits or apparel with your business’ name and logo on it, you can get other people in on the action too. Consider giving away tee shirts with your business’ name on them. Most people will wear the tee shirt while walking around town, going to the gym or doing things outside. This means that everybody you give a free tee shirt to will become a mobile ad for your business.

Trade shows are a great way to connect and meet with current and future customers. These promotional products will deliver name and brand recognition of your business to people who are likely to purchase from you. Buying these trade show supplies and equipment could also be a helpful little tax deduction for your company.


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Rachelle WilberMeet the Author: Rachelle Wilber

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.

Follow Rachelle here:


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How to Become a Successful Leader in the Real Estate Industry

~by Lizzie Weakley~

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The real estate industry in the United States is already crowded with agents. The competition for clients is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. So agents will have no choice but to come up with new strategies that can make them have a competitive advantage over others. They have to be smart and employ effective techniques to bring business to their doors.

real estate industry

Here are some helpful tips on how an agent can stand out from others.

Determine what your competitors are doing

Sometimes it pays to be nosy. Look at what your competitors are doing. Determine what is working for them and what is not. Avoid directly copying what they are doing, as this can lead to legal problems. Instead, model them to come up with a unique but effective plan. Look at the strategies they have in place and their marketing efforts to give you insights on how to make your profession better. You can also learn from their mistakes. Go to social media or any other online platform and see what people say about them. Focus on the negative reviews and find out what mistakes they did to annoy the customers. Work to avoid making those same mistakes.

Adopt the latest technology

You should always be up on the latest technology in real estate. A majority of clients nowadays prefer to communicate and view listings in a digital platform. Make sure your services are tailored for such people, especially the millennials. Use apps to keep track of the properties you manage. Podcasts can assist you to stay tuned for the current real estate market news and trends. You can use a smartphone to take pictures and videos for showing to your clients. Not to mention, mortgage calculators make it easy for you to figure out the monthly payments right from the phone. Your main goal here should be to keep up with emerging trends in order to stay competitive.

Use Pinterest

You need to optimize your Pinterest account to get positive reviews. You can look at examples such as Success Path reviews to get ideas. Only pin real estate images that are relevant to the targeted group of people. Make your account lively by posting regularly. Your pinning frequency should be between two to eight boards per day. Use properly sized images and easy-to-read fonts for customer convenience. Consider asking for reviews at the end of your pins. If there is a bad review, respond to it as fast as you can. Reach out to the negative reviewer directly and try to solve the problem.

Know the market

real estate industryYou need to study your market in order to come up with effective and realistic strategies. Analyze the current pricing trends in the area. This should also include the market segments you plan to explore in the future. Check to see whether the average home prices accelerate faster in one area than in others. Studying these trends allows you to understand the prices that are fair for certain properties. You can then be in a position to come up with the right price for a specific property.

Build strong relationships

You need to relate well with other realtors, customers and the general public. Having good relationships is the key to getting more referrals. Agents who relate with you well will be more than willing to give referrals if they find clients who want a house matching your listings. Over-communicate and over-service. Become a trusted adviser and resource to increase the value of your services. A client will be more loyal and give a positive review if you offer more value. A positive review shows that you have what it takes to provide a good experience. It will most likely lead to more clients. You should also be honest and live up to your promises as a real estate agent. This is even enshrined in the real estate legislation.

Becoming a leader in real estate is directly related to how prepared you are to compete with others. The tips discussed above will help you make the right steps towards becoming a respected agent.


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Lizzie WeakleyMeet the Author: Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky, Snowball.


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Why You Need to Define Your Purpose and Your Promise

~by Charlene Norman~

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Most of us enter self-employment or entrepreneur-land with an idea for a product or service. And whatever it is we decide to deliver has a 98% chance of being a “me-too” version of something already in existence. Someone else near us or close to us is selling pretty much the same thing. (If you do not believe me, just google your product or check the phone book.) Competition is all around, and one of the biggest things we need to understand is the concept of differentiation.

your purpose

The ONLY thing that stands out, that sets you apart, that makes your product or service different, is YOU. Your personality, your amazing ability to save your customer time or money, and/or your unique spin on the products and services. You see, you are not selling JUST your products and services. You are selling you. That means your trustworthiness, your personality, your credibility, your morals, your character, your view of the world and your ethics. Your good days and bad, your good moods and cranky ones, your dreams to make the world a better place, your grooming, your hobbies and in fact, pretty much everything about you. Once you completely understand THAT, everything falls into place. Differentiating yourself from everyone else becomes real easy.

There are two colossal reasons for dealing with differentiation early in your entrepreneur journey. Differentiation helps you ensure you continually focus on standing out (You will call that your Purpose). And differentiation helps you set the direction of what you ultimately deliver (You will call that your Promise).

your purposeLet’s take a simple example. These days, there seems to be a Dental office on nearly every corner. Everyone has a sign. All the signs say pretty much the same thing: “Miss Evelyn Entrepreneur, Family Dentist”. If you were a Family Dentist wanting to establish your own practice, what is so different about you? Now, take a look at this sign: “Family Dental Group. We make smiles every day”. Notice the different promise that is made? The tone is different; the promise is different and accordingly, so is the purpose.

If you are truly in the business of making smiles every day, your whole focus, the way you practice your craft, the way your employees work and interact should be different from other family dentists. Think about your potential customers. Everyone likes a smile. How much easier would it be to entice future customers with the promise of we make smiles every day? How much easier would it be to attract, inspire and manage employees who want to make smiles every day? How much easier would it be to keep your customers and expand your business when you know that what you are passionate about is making smiles daily?

Please do not restrict yourself to thinking exclusively about the service or the product you deliver. Reflect on the concept you are providing to your customers. Think about your Purpose. I like Kellogg’s purpose: “Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive”. No mention of breakfast cereal! Instead, there is a promise to make a difference. This is your opportunity to do the same thing. Be funny or be serious, be profound, be creative. Just do not limit yourself to only describing the service or product you deliver. You are delivering much more than your service or product. You are promising to make a difference.

“DO NOT GO WHERE THE PATH MAY LEAD, GO INSTEAD WHERE THERE IS NO PATH AND LEAVE A TRAIL”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

your purposeBegin thinking about an easy-to-say, 30-second commercial. Some people refer to this as your Elevator Speech, others your Unique Selling Proposition. I call it a commercial because it is your personal advertisement. It is your response to “What do you do?” If you cannot say it in 30 seconds or less, your potential customers will walk away. If you fall into the category of “well, what I do is complicated to explain, let me show you a video.” Shame on you. You will NEVER ever get a good level of business. If you cannot explain your reason for being in business in 30 seconds, why on earth would anyone want to watch your 15 minute video?

Your 30-second commercial is NOT about you, it’s about what you DO for your customer. So, use equal parts of emotion, visualization and fact. You want to grab the emotions, paint a picture, and roll in some facts. And yes, this is not an easy exercise. It will very likely take you a while to develop. Don’t worry, it’s an iterative process, and you’ll have many opportunities to rethink and refine.

Here’s an excellent exercise to get you started. Write out your business idea in terms of your Purpose and Promise. Now try to distill it into 50 words or less. Then take those 50 words and distill them to 25. Then into ten words or less.

Those final few words are what you are all about. Are what you are offering. Those final few words are either your Purpose driving you forward, your Promise to your customers, or both.

Your Purpose is a Sacred Promise. It guides ALL your decisions.


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Charlene NormanMeet the Author: Charlene Norman

Charlene is a CPA turned marketer turned business cheerleader and coach. Currently completing two of three books about buying 60, selling 10 and saving 30 companies, she now helps business owners who want to go to the next level.


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Get the Word Out: 4 Types of Marketing for Your Small Business

~by Anica Oaks~

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Developing an effective marketing strategy is usually challenging. But with research into your target market and some creative thinking, small business owners can drive more customer engagement to boost revenue. Innovative approaches for traditional marketing channels can lead to greater brand recognition.

types of marketing for your small business

Here are four types of marketing that you can use to bring more sales to your company.

Direct Mail

Most people tend to think of this as obsolete. But companies of all sizes have been doing this for years because it works. The average response rate for direct mail is 2.6 percent. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not bad considering the relatively low costs involved. Email campaigns are even more affordable. Spamming is frowned upon, but by building your email list through opt-ins on your website, you’ve got an audience that’s already interested.

Barcode Technology

Smartphone users are using apps that let them scan barcodes, like Microsoft’s Tag. Using barcodes in your printed materials, including business cards and signage, provides a quick link to featured products. Users can simply scan a barcode with their phone to immediately get more information, photos, and so on from your website or other online sources. This is a great marketing tool in that it’s very convenient for customers.

types of marketing for your small businessSocial Networks

Major social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are also cost-efficient ways to build up a following. You simply set up a profile and post new products, offers, photos, or other relevant info. But it isn’t an advertising channel. Above all, you have to engage with your audience by answering questions and responding to comments. Social sites also enable you to gather feedback from your audience. Many sites also now have user analytics and paid ads to take your marketing one step further.

Promotional Merchandise

Corporate gifts emblazoned with your company name and logo are an excellent way to increase brand awareness and enrich the customer experience. Screen printing can be done on a variety of surfaces at a low cost. A screen printing company can assist with artwork services, prepare and inventory a variety of screens, and provide a variety of products and services to help you get the best cost and quality from gift merchandising.

These are just a few ways to engage more customers. It’s important to understand the likes and dislikes of the demographic you’re targeting. But with the right knowledge and some original ideas, you can make your company stand out from the competition.


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Anica OaksMeet the Author: Anica Oaks

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean and anything outdoor related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.


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Social Media Marketing Pet Peeves: Avoid these Mistakes

~by Haley Lynn Gray~

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A lot of people market themselves extremely well on social media. A lot of people really don’t. They get so caught up in trying to make a sale that they can’t figure out why this whole social media thing isn’t working well for them. They might get frustrated, annoyed or just be so over the whole thing. I can understand that. Most likely it’s because they’re breaking some of the previously unwritten rules. So I’m going to share some of my marketing pet peeves along with the rules that should prevail when marketing on Facebook — and that you must abide by in order to be successful.

I’ve seen every single one of these offenses multiple times, and it seems that a lot of people really aren’t getting the social media marketing thing right.

social media marketing pet peeves1. Private Messaging Me. If I like your post, that doesn’t mean that I want you to message me asking me to buy from you. Generally, people buy from those they know, like and trust. If they don’t, they’re probably not going to buy from you. So, if you message me the second I’ve liked your post, it’s really going to annoy me, and I might just block you. You’re certainly digging yourself a hole to work your way out of.

2. “Buy from me” posts. Every other post is a “buy from me” post. You need to have more content than “buy from me”. Look around for inspiration. Post all kinds of inspiration, affirmations, quotes, and videos.  

3. Drive by postings. If all you do is drop into groups, post and run, you’re going to have a big uphill battle to get clients. It’s generally accepted that people will do business with those they know, like and trust. So if they don’t trust you or know you, and all you ever do is post and run but never interact, you’re not going to be very successful.  

4. Adding people to groups without their permission. Look, I know it’s tempting to get those huge numbers in your groups. I’ve got over 46,000 members in my largest Facebook group, and am adding scores of people each day. I didn’t get there by adding people to my group without their permission. Instead of adding someone to a group, consider messaging them and asking if they’re interested. If I tell you I’m not currently interested, that’s okay. I keep finding myself added to groups every day, and it is overwhelming to keep up with them. If you add me to a group, and I don’t know about it, I’m not going to participate anyway. So there is absolutely no value to doing this.

5. Like Ladders. If you just want ‘Likes’ on your page, you’re not going to get the kind of engagement you want and need on your page. It’s worthless. Focus instead on quality over quantity and getting the kinds of likes you need to make your business sustainable. If you focus on getting engagement and posting things that people are interested in, you’ll get better results and more clients.  

In general, focus on creating and distributing quality content. Once you’ve done that, your followers and likes will increase. It is such an incredible thing.


Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.


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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:


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6 Tips for Establishing a Solid Online Reputation

~by Dixie Somers~

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As a business owner, you may understand that information posted on the Internet about your company can make or break you. People respond well to positive reviews, and they’ll carefully avoid companies that have a negative reputation online. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your company’s reputation and encourage more positive information online.

1. Monitor Facebook

online reputationFacebook is the single largest social media site with 1.44 billion people actively using it every month. You can use your Facebook business account to get your information out to customers, improve brand awareness and promote a positive image.

2. Respond to the Bad Reviews

No company can please every customer every time. There will come a point when a bad review is posted about your agency. It may be deserved, or it could be the result of an unreasonable customer. Either way, you need to respond to it.

Start by reviewing the complaint to be sure that you understand the issue. If necessary and possible, reach out to the customer privately for clarification on the problem. See if there is any middle ground between what the customer needs and what your business can do. When dealing with the customer, agree with them as much as possible, and avoid the use of any negative words. If you’re able to come to an agreement with the customer, then ask them kindly to remove or update the negative feedback.

3. Ongoing Activity at the Website

One of the most important things you can do is to put plenty of your own positive content out on the internet. This makes it harder for people to find complaints about you. Update your website regularly to improve online branding. Consider buying additional domains that contain your brand name and then use them for blogging. You’ll improve your brand recognition, website traffic and your online reputation.

Remember to be yourself when building your online reputation this way. Post plenty of pictures of yourself and employees at corporate gatherings. Highlight any community events that you attend or support. If you have hobbies and extra-curricular activities that are relevant to your industry, then share that information in order to better connect with customers. The more people in your area know and like you, the less likely they are to put negative information about your company online.

The Internet is full of false information. Companies like ACN are seen as scams due to negative information online, and it can be difficult to overcome the bad reports. However, you can minimize this risk by keeping positive information in your social media accounts, on your personal website and in other areas online.

4. Admit and Apologize When You’re Wrong

It’s important to admit when you’re wrong and to apologize. Everyone makes mistakes, and even the most trusted companies can misstep once in a while. You’d be surprised how far a sincere apology can take you.

online reputation5. Don’t Wait for Problems

Many business owners make the mistake of waiting until they’re having issues to address online concerns. However, this tactic can turn repairing the damage into an uphill battle. Start off on the right foot by getting your positive information out there and updating it regularly. You’ll minimize the risk of serious complaints and make it easier to overcome problems later.

6. The Google Alert

Invest in a Google alert system that will notify you when your brand is mentioned online. This way, you can become aware of complaints right away and step in to limit the damage. You can also keep an eye on your reputation, watch for praise, and thank customers when they share a positive experience.

Remember to always stay positive when online. The Internet has the power to take your words and send them viral. More importantly, many customers report that they will stop doing business with a company following a negative interaction online. Remember this when crafting any type of posts, responses, blogs, or updates to share online.


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Dixie Somers

Meet the Author: Dixie Somers

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, and those with an entrepreneurial spirit. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.


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